Remains of shipwreck-turned-dance hall surface again off Kill Devil Hills

It’s been nearly 100 years since a ship ran aground in front of where the Croatan Inn once stood, and as is often the case along the shoreline of the infamous Graveyard of the Atlantic, her remains have surfaced again.

The Town of Kill Devil Hills posted on Facebook Saturday morning that someone called town hall earlier this week, alerting officials that the remains of a shipwreck could be found on the beach.

The three-masted schooner Irma was headed to Georgia with a load of lumber when it ran aground in 1925. Members of the Coast Guards from Station Kill Devil Hills saved the entire crew.

Outer Bankers would find a new use for the hulk while it deteriorated on the beach, turning it into a makeshift dance hall.

Any trace of the hotel that eventually became popular restaurants Papagayos followed by Quagmires, which is how many of us of a certain age will always remember it, has long since been gone from the beachfront at milepost 7.5.

The massive Croatan Surf Club now sits on that spot, because the original Croatan Inn was torn down in 2006, joining countless landmarks that have disappeared with time.

But just like so many other shipwrecks along the Outer Banks, the Irma still turns up every now and then at her final resting place.

About Sam Walker 1512 Articles
Sam Walker was news director for, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, Big 94.5 WCMS and Z 92.3 from August 2011 to March 2022.